Family of 5-month-old baby, allegedly killed by father, trying to cope with loss

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 22:18:47-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- Family members are trying to recover after the death of a 5-month-old baby boy, reportedly killed by his own father over the weekend in West Valley City.

People who live at the Boulder Pines Apartments said they witnessed 23-year-old Shawn Johnson on Friday night pacing around, looking worried, as if something horrible had just happened. They didn't realize until later that Johnson was about to confess to the killing of his son, Deyvion Johnson.

The baby's mother was inside the apartment when Johnson took Deyvion out for a walk.

According to a report filed by the West Valley City Police Department, Johnson punched his baby boy in the back of the head, hit him with a metal bottle, and dropped 15 feet from a swing.

"He meant the world to me, it’s not the same without him. Every day goes by, I wish there was something more we could have done. Eats me alive every day," said Deyvion's maternal grandmother, Jamie McCrea. "We loved taking pictures of him, because he was so happy!"

McCrea said she knew her daughter's boyfriend had "severe anger issues" and was "abusive," but she never thought Johnson would hurt his own son.

She said Johnson called her that night, blaming his 12-year-old brother for baby Deyvion's injuries.

"He got on the phone and tried to make it look like it was his little autistic brother which — he had nothing to do with it," McCrea said. "I really didn’t believe him because I know how aggressive he was and this was my fear... There’s no way an autistic kid could do something like this."

Johnson's mother, Latricia Barnes, said she could tell something was wrong when she noticed her grandson's head was swollen that night.

Barnes said an autopsy revealed broken bones in the baby's skull and pelvis.

"I was tapping him on the cheeks... I was like, 'What the **** do you mean he’s unresponsive?'" she said, describing the interaction with her son that night. "I still have to be there for him as a mother… but at this point, I want justice for Deyvion."

Since Johnson was arrested, Barnes said she still hasn't spoken to her son. She said she still doesn't understand why Johnson would abuse his own child, especially because baby Deyvion was so happy, rarely crying.

"I’m mad because he didn’t even have to do this. He could have just opened his mouth if it was too much for him," Barnes said. "I want answers. I want justice... I just want to tell my baby I love him. I love you Deyvion."

The family has set up a fundraiser to help with funeral expenses for baby Deyvion. If you would like to help, you can donate here.